“…By heaven, I had rather coin my heart
And drop my blood for drachmas than to wring
From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash
By any indirection.” –Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
I have in the past given Barack Obama grief for his continuance of the Patriot Act (and in particular its suspension of habeas corpus). I have frowned at his refusal to shut down the “enemy combatants” prison in Guantanamo Bay. I’ve berated his refusal to support same-sex marriage. And I have raked him over the coals for continuing the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy.
I now have to take two of those admonishments back. Last month Obama came out in favor of gay marriage, in the light of full civil rights for all citizens.
And now he’s using Robert Gibbs, his press secretary and proxy, to announce that the tax cuts for the well-to-do will be allowed to expire:
CROWLEY: Do you think the president will do anything other than veto a bill that would keep those Bush tax cuts for everyone intact?
GIBBS: We should protect the tax cuts for the middle-class, and we should let tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires expire.
CROWLEY: Even though recovery is not that great, and people say don’t take money out of this economy, it is not the time for a tax hike, you would go ahead and do it for those making $250,000 and above.
GIBBS: We ought to do something about this deficit, and we ought to protect middle class tax cuts, and the best way to do that is to let the upper-end tax cuts expire, let the wealthy in this country that had been doing fine for years and years and years begin to pay their fair share, and make sure that we protect the tax rate that middle-class families have had for the past many years.
CROWLEY: So the president is totally committed to getting rid of the tax cut for those making $250,000 and above.
GIBBS: Let’s make some progress on our spending by doing away with tax cuts for people who quite frankly don’t need them, tax cuts that have not worked, and have them pay their fair share.
CROWLEY: So is that a yes or a no? The president is completely committed to this, he won’t allow it to happen?
GIBBS: He is 100 percent committed to it.
Mr. Obama continues to become more and more attractive as a candidate.